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SCHOTT solutions no. 2/2009 > Pharmaceutical Packaging


Innovative Antibiotics in High-Quality Packaging

U.S. pharmaceutical company Wyeth selects “TopLine” vials as primary packaging for a new drug.

Michael Bonewitz

Life-threatening infections are a growing global concern, with bacterial infections becoming more difficult to treat and drug resistant strains such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (known as MRSA) on the rise. “Tygacil”, the first antibiotic in a new class called glycylcyclines, was developed by Wyeth to overcome key mechanisms of resistance that have been affected by antibiotic use.

Wyeth is one of the largest research-driven pharmaceutical and health care companies in the world. The company is a leader when it comes to discovering, developing, manufacturing and marketing pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products and non-prescription medicines. “Our medicines are critical to the health of others and our mission must be efficient,” says Chad Johnson, Wyeth Global Strategic Sourcing Manager. “SCHOTT has taken ownership in this mission.”

When Wyeth Pharmaceuticals developed a novel new drug to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, they turned to SCHOTT for the specialized vials they would need for distributing this innovative antibiotic to a global market. “What they needed was a customized solution tailor-made to the highest requirements,” says Chuck Newswanger, Sales Manager-U.S. Eastern, SCHOTT forma vitrum. “After meeting and collaborating with members of Wyeth’s development team, we were able to determine that our ‘TopLine’ vials, specially designed to meet their critical parameters, would serve them best.”

”Business focus is what Wyeth looks for in a partnership with quality, service, value and care as key elements. The SCHOTT team has supported us greatly in this focus.”

Chad Johnson, Global Strategic Sourcing, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

Incidentally, Wyeth global headquarters is only 60 minutes from the SCHOTT production facility in Lebanon, Pennsyl­vania. This has resulted in a creative and collaborative relationship that involves working together on materials, purchasing, quality, production and packaging. It was such attention to ­detail that led the SCHOTT team to recommend a slight adjustment to the shape of the vial when they noticed that it would provide for a better fit with the designated stopper. And did it in such a way that it still met the approved specifications ­without retooling the Wyeth production line. SCHOTT also collaborated with Wyeth to develop a customized poly­ethylene packing box to ensure product efficacy, and is even now working on ways to make it ”green”.
“TopLine” quality means zero defect tolerances for critical aspects and 100 percent inspection with the help of the “Automated Inspection System” (left). Photo: SCHOTT
From the beginning, Wyeth made it clear that ”Tygacil” was targeted for global distribution, meaning that both vials and packing would have to meet the quality requirements of Japan and Europe, as well as those of the U.S. “This is where SCHOTT really shines,” says Newswanger. “With ‘TopLine’, our customers get individually designed, customized packaging solutions using our premium quality Fiolax® glass tubes – along with a zero-defect tolerance for critical aspects and all-criteria, 100 percent inspection for dimensional and cosmetic parameters using our Automated Inspection System (AIS).”

The fact that SCHOTT was able to transfer specification, quality, and packaging from site to site was critical, considering Wyeth’s requirements on ensuring a uniform backup supplier source. The global capabilities SCHOTT has were also key in Wyeth’s decision to work together on developing the primary packaging design. “Wyeth can rely on SCHOTT to ensure global delivery and world-class precision and quality,” Newswanger says. “Business focus is what Wyeth looks for in a partner, with quality, service, value and care as key elements. SCHOTT has supported us greatly in this respect,” Chad Johnson adds. <|

Wyeth at a glance

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